Breastfeeding is an incredible and, sometimes, daunting task. It is one of the most difficult things most of us will ever do for our children, and it’s also one o/\f the most rewarding. Even through the tough times, we can take a moment to breathe deep and remember why we’re doing it. But what about when you’re sick?
Breastfeeding While Sick Is Not Easy
For the past 4 weeks, I’ve been battling one illness or another. There were times when I really, really need to not be touched by my kid. Or to hear her screeches because I asked her not to touch me. But the most recent bout of illness was a stomach flu. Have you ever had a stomach flu when you’re a breastfeeding mom?
Let me tell you—it’s pretty freaking terrible.
We all know that when battling a stomach flu, you don’t have an option to just lay and wait for your child to fall asleep or unlatch. When you are getting sick, you’ve got to go. Fast. Or at least have a trashcan close by.
I was not the only family member sick…no. My husband and my youngest (my nursling) also caught the bug. So in between my runs to safety, I was catching or cleaning up her messes. My husband helped as much as he could, but he was pretty sick, as well. It was a hassle, to say the least. But the biggest problems I faced were when she wouldn’t unlatch or she got a burst of energy and decided to crawl across my aching abdomen. One of the times she went across me, she got me with her elbow and knee. Simultaneously. I thought I was going to die.
The Selflessness Is Strong In Us
The amazing thing about it all is that, even though I was so ill and in so much pain, I somehow focused on getting her better. I nursed her. Then I cuddled with her. Somehow axc;c rdp I forced down all my urges to run to the trashcan and mind-over-mattered it so that she could peacefully fall asleep and unlatch herself. How? Who knows. I imagine it’s just the powerful woman body, doing what we are meant to do. Put our babies first–always.
It’s difficult, obviously. I’m not saying everyone can manage to avoid their toilet or trashcan run to snuggle a baby. But I was pretty amazed at my ability to focus so much on her healing whilst also taking care of myself. The selflessness that we exude when breastfeeding is a pretty remarkable thing when you think about it. We put forth so much energy and time and resources into being able to do this one thing for our child. Just for our bodies to produce milk is more energy than some people use in their entire day.
I have done many things in my life that I am genuinely proud of. But the most marvelous accomplishment has been this selfless act of breastfeeding while sick. Even in my most selfish moments, I still manage to put this child first. That is what breastfeeding is all about.
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